Two Washington & Lee High School seniors, Kelsey Henry and Mykia Redmond, were honored at the 21st Annual Virginia Black History Month Gala on February 28. Held at the beautiful Salamander Resort in Middleburg, the event is the culmination of the groups’ mission to “provide community activities which highlight the positive achievements of African Americans through the art of dance, music, theatre, and education.” The theme for this year was the “Black Family.”
As part of the program three educational contests and scholarships were awarded. Each group competed for a different award. In addition to a Children’s Writing Contest and the Audrey Jones Scholarship of Excellence, all African-American high school students who were enrolled in any Spotsylvania County, City of Fredericksburg, Caroline County or Westmoreland County, Virginia high school, could apply for the VBHMA James Farmer Scholarship.
According to the VBHMA, the “winners are students who have demonstrated exceptional community service and academic excellence while in high school. The scholarship is awarded in honor of Civil Rights Activist, Distinguished Professor and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the late Dr. James L. Farmer, Jr.”
Lauded by the emcees, Ms. Redmond and Ms. Henry were respectively called forward for their awards. Ms. Redmond won the second place scholarship valued at $500. Ms. Henry was named the first place winner and received a $1,000 scholarship, a complimentary gift from the VBHMA and a certificate of achievement. Both young ladies have been accepted to a number of colleges and are currently reviewing and appraising their future choices.
The students were recognized for their stellar high school careers. Kelsey Henry is president of the James Farmer Scholar program, a member of the National Honor Society, senior class treasurer, a varsity football and basketball cheerleader and varsity soccer player. She also attends the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School. In addition, Kelsey is very active at her church, Siloam Baptist Church where she is president of the Youth Ministry, Chaplain of the Youth Choir, a Praise Dancer and a youth usher.
Mykia Redmond is equally active as a student athlete. She is a member of the James Farmer Scholars program, the National Honor Society and the Eagles Yearbook team. Ms. Redmond also attends Siloam Baptist Church where she is vice-president of the Youth Choir Ministry, the Praise Dance Ministry and the Audio Ministry. She is the assistant secretary of the church’s Sunday School.
Because of the coronavirus, participants could attend the event virtually. A limited number of guests were allowed to attend. Both of the student’s families attended and cheered them on when the awards were announced. The VABHMA is located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. According to their program, the Association “operates as local chapter branches to encourage each Virginia city to commemorate, educate, and celebrate African-American history.”
Westmoreland County Public Schools congratulate Ms. Henry and Ms. Redmond for their outstanding accomplishments.